Fans of A Different Face, the beauty blog by Nicci Gilland of Lexington, know that the site's a winner, with its reviews of the latest products and helpful tutorials.
But when Gilland got the call from Allure magazine announcing her as one of 10 finalists for its 2014 Beauty Blogger of the Year Contest, she was more than a little surprised.
"I was so excited about that. I put my name in the hat and at that point my blog was maybe six months old," said Gilland, who launched A Different Face in June of 2013. "When they called me to tell me that I was one of the finalists I thought they had the wrong number."
Gilland was not that into the whole makeup thing while growing up in central Texas.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
"When I told my mother about my blog she said that I was the last one of her kids she thought would ever do something like that. And I have a brother," said Gilland, who moved to Lexington about 12 years ago.
In her mid 20s, she suffered a flare-up of adult acne.
"And that is when I started using makeup. I started using it to get my skin back to sort of its normal appearance but then I realized how much fun it is and how much I really enjoy it."
While she didn't win the top prize in the Allure contest, Gilland definitely made a splash in the beauty biz. Because of the contest, there has been increased traffic on her site and she's getting easier access to the latest makeup launches.
"Obviously I've enjoyed it myself," she said, "but also I'm able to share more things with my readers.
What she wore
Shirt: Halogen from Nordstrom
Jeans: J. Crew matchstick from a consignment store.
Boots: Custom made at Poppy Barley, a Canadian company. "They take about two months to make because they custom make them. But they are totally, totally worth the wait." Poppybarley.com.
Nail polish: From the Zoya fall collection. The color is Teigen, a dark cranberry with a touch of pink.
Glasses: Ralph Lauren frames from LensCrafters.
Necklace: A recent buy at Urban Outfitters.
A few of her favorite products: "Right now I have an obscene number of finishing powders.
"It's kind of silly because you don't really see them. But it is the closest thing to Photoshop in a makeup. It evens everything out and blurs out pores, it gives you that kind of a glow.
Right now Guerlain Meteorites is my favorite. I'm obsessed with it; I use it every day."
Eucerin Calming Creme is her absolute favorite lotion.
"It's fairly thick and it has camomile. It's helpful to me because I have really bad allergies and sometimes my skin will just freak out about random things."
Favorite spots to shop for makeup: Sephora, Nordstrom, Barneys.
Stylist for her curly hair: Angela at The Hive.